Yesterday evening, Nigel Farage attended an awards ceremony at Liberty University in Virginia, USA, where he was awarded an honorary doctorate.
Speaking to students before accepting the honour, Farage praised the university as “amazing”.
But Liberty has a bit of a chequered history, to say the least.
A private evangelical school with links to the Republican movement, the university has coveted controversy for its uber-conservative, homophobic policies. Either Farage didn’t Google the uni before making the trip, or he simply isn’t bothered.
Here is everything we know about (Dr) Farage’s new alma mater.
Links to Republicans
Liberty University has a long association with hard-right Republicans in the US. Far by being the first politician to talk at the school, Farage has joined a long line of controversial right-wing names including Ted Cruz and Donald Trump – who the university explicitly endorses.
The word “Liberty” in the name of the university seems to be for effect only.
Liberty’s “honor code,” which sets out the values students must abide by while attending the institution, says that “sexual relations outside of a biblically-ordained marriage between a natural-born man and a natural-born woman are not permissible at Liberty University.”
In effect, this means that gay relationships can be punished at the university, even through expulsion.
Liberty is also legally represented by anti-LGBT group Liberty Counsel and has been rated as one of the worst American campuses for LGBT rights.
In his acceptance speech, Farage praised the pro-freedom mentality of America, saying: “If you want to be free people, you’ve got to be able to live in liberty, you’ve got to be able to determine your own futures.”
However, while attending Liberty, it seems that students are certainly not free to make their own choices.
The university’s honor code stipulates that: “lewd lyrics, anti-Christian messages, sexual content, nudity [and] pornography,” are not permitted on- or off-campus.
Certain video games and films are also banned on campus, as are bikinis.
Perhaps most ironically, given Farage’s own intimate relationship with the bottom of a beer glass and a fag, the university bans the possession of alcohol and drugs (including tobacco).
And Jerry Falwell Jr, the President of the University who presented Farage with his doctorate, has also displayed dodgy behaviour in the past.
The son of Reverend Jerry Falwell, a TV evangelicalist, Falwell ran into trouble last year when leaked emails revealed he referred to a student as “emotionally imbalanced and physically retarded” and called the school’s police chief a “half-wit”.
Falwell, also has some pretty extreme views on gun control. Last month, he said he would call for “civil disobedience” if the Democrats tried to place further restrictions on gun ownership.
Meanwhile, in 2015, referring to a terror attack, Falwell said that students could carry guns if they could “end those Muslims”.
During his speech, Farage tried to bring his stale man of the people routine state-side, complaining that he – who lives in a £4 million townhouse – has far less money than his banker chums.
Farage also waxed lyrical about his best friend Donald Trump, saying he was “excited” that Brexit would bring “our nations much closer together”.
While this is the only university degree Farage has ever gained, the record of Liberty University would tempt any normal person to hastily expunge it from their CV.
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